Scary Saturday: The Halloween Edition 2011

Happy Halloween everyone! How was your treat-hoarding weekend?

Basti and I spent the day trick-or-treating at OC Mom’s village. Her 2 month-old baby won Best Costume in her age category because OC Mom turned her into an iPod. #award

I wish I could post a pic, but OC Mom will kill me.

I turned Basti into a rockstar.

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I bought him black sneaks, shades, a toy guitar and hair gel. In other words I was inflicted with two conditions for Halloween: tamaditis and kuripotitis. Someday I will release my Martha Stewart. Today I will just deal.

Oh right. This is Scary Saturday. Ok just to keep in line with my meme, here’s an anecdote for you.

Who remembers the movie “Halimaw Sa Banga”? It’s a movie from the 80s starring Lotlot de Leon, Ronel Victor, Romnick Sarmenta, Liza Lorena and Marilyn Villamor. Here’s a clip.

I seriously think it is one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen. Gloria Romero’s daughter, Maritess Gutierrez, played the Halimaw and she was too creepy. At that time, our house was filled by bangas, and the movie caused years of shivers and goosebumps whenever we passed the bangas in the dark. The most traumatized among us was my brother, Carlo. I swear he had nightmares and he cried from fear during the movie and would get seriously freaked out when we talked about it.

Years later, Carlo walks into the kitchen on his first day of culinary school and who does he see? MARITESS GUTIERREZ. It was his nightmare come to life. He told us he wanted to cry. It was like meeting Freddie Kreuger in real life.

 

Caleb Has Chosen The Bailey Wrap Winner!

Caleb, CEO of Caleb’s Closet (heehee!) took time out from his busy, busy schedule to pick the winner of the Caleb’s Closet Bailey Wrap Giveaway. (How cute are those diapers?? And, how cute is Caleb??)

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With witnesses on standby, Caleb makes the draw. May witnesses pa. We have a winner!

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Congratulations JULIE ANNE VELASQUEZ-DIMAANO! Dr. Lei will be in touch with you for the delivery of your Bailey Wrap! Happy babywearing!! Post a pic ok?

Thanks to everyone who joined! With your support, we’ll have more contests and goodies in the future. I am super grateful! Thanks to Caleb’s Closet and Bailey’s Comfort for supporting the contest!

Congratulations LATCH Batch 3!

I’ve said it many times before – I wanted to be a breastfeeding counselor. I had my personal reasons (more knowledge to share with other moms) and professional reasons (so I can confidently help the moms who ask for advice through my blog) for wanting to be one.

Well, after several days spread throughout several weeks of waking up early, studying and staring at this:

..we finally had one last session and a general assembly with the LATCHers: (here’s Buding giving us a talk with a reunion of sorts going on in the background)

And I’m now a proud LATCH breastfeeding peer counselor! Thanks to Sylvia for patiently training us, Buding for being such a nurturing leader and the rest of the LATCHers who all took part in getting us through training. You’ll be seeing more of these lovely ladies in my blog for sure.

Here’s Batch 3, the women I am privileged and proud to call my co-LATCHers. In this batch also are Paola of Mommy Treats, and Fritzie of Legally Mom.

We got a great goodie bag, thanks to the efforts of Jenny Ong, a wonderful certificate to hang on our wall and a raring desire to spread the word about LATCH and breastfeeding.

Congratulations Batch 3 and LATCH!! Give life, live life! Breastfeed!

Beauty, Brains and Breastfeeding Billboards: The Launch

I was invited to the unveiling of the latest campaign by Beauty, Brains and Breastfeeding last week at Lolo Dad’s at 6750. BBB is an organization that focuses on empowering women to breastfeed through information drives. This latest endeavor is in partnership with UNICEF.

Heading the organization as Director is Iza Abeja, and joining her for the campaign are UNICEF advocate for children Daphne Oseña-Paez and celebrity mom Patricia Bermudez-Hizon.

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Iza breastfed her son Joaquin till he was six, and is still breastfeeding her daughter Amina, who is now four years old. Daphne breastfed all of her three daughters, Sophia, Lily and Stella, for at least 12 months. Patricia breastfed her sons Vicente and Paul, and told her how her husband Vince was her number one supporter during her breastfeeding journey.

The organization wants to emphasize the importance of support for breastfeeding in the workplace and also in the family, proper information and benefits about breastfeeding, and making people aware of the state of breastfeeding in the country.

We were able to sit down with these awesome women to talk about the campaign.
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Of course we were there to see the unveiling of these:

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There should already be a billboard as well on MIA Road in Pasay City, on the DILG Building on EDSA and one in Philcoa in Quezon City. More billboards are under negotiation and should be up soon.

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I think this is a great campaign! The more mothers are empowered and informed about breastfeeding, then the better this world will become.

Have you seen the billboards? Tweet me a pic! Send me a tweet through @PaintersWifePH.

 

Pouches, Slings, SaYas, Wraps, Oh My!: Choosing The Best Baby Carrier For You

I get this question all the time: “Which one is the best baby carrier?”

I don’t have one answer to this question because, if you have read my blog long enough, I use all of the ones I own. ALL. Without exception. Sometimes my only criteria for choosing the baby carrier I’m packing for the day is if it’s clean.

Choosing a carrier is really a matter of preference. There is no one perfect carrier for all mothers and for all babies because we are all different, and then factor in the different permutations of mother-baby combinations and what do you have? Insanity. Haha.

I can, however, share my own personal insights on which carrier was suitable for myself and Basti for different situations and different times in our lives. I hope some of my thoughts help somewhat in choosing the carrier (or carriers) you would like to try for your babies. All carriers I mention below are suitable for newborns to toddlers.

1. The SaYa Carrier

The SaYa has been, without a doubt, my most talked-about carrier in my blog. It was the first one I got really comfortable with after all, so it will always have a special place in my diaper bag.
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I like this because:

  • It’s lightweight and easy to tote around. Even if all you have is your purse, it’ll fit! The Versatekk dries easily and is great for traveling and the beach.
  • It’s relatively easy to put on (once you get the hang of it) and totally easy to take off.
  • Can be worn for longer periods because of the criss-cross support of the two interlocked slings.
Best for:
  • Kangaroo carry
  • Front-carry, facing inwards
  • Napping

2. The Ring Sling

It took me a while to get the hang of the ringsling, particularly threading it right and knowing how to fix a little knot once I was wearing Basti already. I found the best trick was to get the edges of the tail and pull them out, sideways.

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I like this because:
  • Very versatile with all holds without needing assistance from another person
  • Adjustable; truly a carrier that will never be outgrown
Best for:
  • Newborns – I find the ring sling’s flexibility is great for the cradle and front-carry (facing towards the chest, tummy-to-tummy) for newborn babies
  • Breastfeeding – It’s easy to fit a child, even as a toddler (with legs out one end) in a cradle hold and walk while breastfeeding. Use the tail as a cover.
  • Napping – For children who like to nap in a cradle hold, the ring sling is perfect. Basti still does this now with his legs hanging out from one end.
  • Hip-carrying and back-carrying toddlers

3. The Pouch

This was my very first carrier, but I didn’t use one regularly until I bought my second pouch (the green and beige one), because I got the blue and brown one in a size too small. Lucky OC Mom in Manila is the proud babywearing owner of that one now.

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I like this because:
  • It’s simple to use, with hardly any adjustment needed
  • Great for traveling, quick to put on and take off
  • Folds flat, easy to pack. Great for traveling.
Best for:
  • Kangaroo carry
  • Hip carrying bigger children
  • Short trips and places where you think you may have to quickly wear and un-wear your child.

4. The Wrap

The most recent carrier to join my stable, the wrap was one carrier I never thought I would use. The availability of a local version changed my mind.

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I like this because:
  • It’s so secure and really feels safe.
Best for:
  • Situations where you don’t need to take baby in and out a lot, unless you’re ok walking around wearing it. The long yards of fabric make it a bit of a trouble to take off and put on again. My main concern is that I don’t like the cloth dragging on the germ-ridden floor of, say, the supermarket.
  • Napping
  • Can be worn for longer periods because of the criss-cross support, like the SaYa.
  • Front-carry, facing out. The extra band offers a bit more support.
  • Newborns (so safe and snuggly really!)
  • Cooler places (all the layers can be a little warm)
So there you have it. I hope my personal thoughts help somewhat in choosing a carrier for you and your child. As always, if you need any help, just leave a note and I’ll try to offer you some more suggestions or bug the babywearing goddesses if you guys have any inquiries. Happy babywearing!

Don’t forget to join Caleb’s Closet giveaway of a Bailey Wrap! Registration will be open till October 27!

Basti’s Scary Saturday (10-15-2011): The First Haircut

It was a regular Saturday afternoon for us. We had spent most of the day in Gymboree. He was in a happy-happy-joy-joy mood, more so when The Painter popped in at the center. He never goes, so Basti was so excited to see him.

Until. (Insert ominous music here)

I’ve been cutting Basti’s hair since he was 4 months old. We figured it was time he got a real haircut.

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He seemed ok.

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Being in his daddy’s arms did the trick. it was done and over with in a few minutes.

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We figured he deserved some playtime with his cousins and a visit to Lola’s house (a.k.a. Let’s go grab some grub at my mom’s because I’m too lazy to cook and her food is so much better)

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I hope the next time won’t be as scary. Great job, Basti!

 

 

Internet for the (Little) People: The Cisco Linksys E1000 Router

I don’t know about you guys, but for my household, an internet connection is not a luxury, but a necessity. Almost everything is done online these days. Twitter is my newsfeed, email is my preferred mode of communication, and people who know me can attest to the fact that it’s easier to get in touch with through chat than a regular text message. When WiFi was invented, I thought I was going to cry.

But with the availability of information at your fingertips also come the dangers. It has become way too easy to access anything online, and that includes stuff you don’t really want your kids to see.

So it was with eagerness that I received an invitation to test and review the Cisco Linksys E1000 Router. Marketed specifically to the home-user, it boasts ease-of-use and parental controls, making it a supposedly friendly choice for even the not-so-techie mom. (There’s a bit of a goodie after the review, so scroll down!)

At this point of my internet life, I’ve begun to say, “a router is a router is a router”. I have a regular household that doesn’t require anything special from a router except that it sufficiently supplies internet in every corner I want it in my house. Having said that, I have to admit, the Linksys E1000 had a few nifty features. So here’s what I liked.

  • I have a problem with my CD-Drive, so I couldn’t install the software from the included disc. I had to find my way to the Linksys support page and download the software from there. It was SO EASY, unlike a certain brand’s technical support page that gave me headaches just to look for the correct drivers. The entire process was a dropdown-box-and-a-click.
  • Once you’ve got the Cisco Connect software installed, set up is a breeze. Other routers would require you to log-in to the setup page by entering the IP address on the browser toolbar – a set of numbers I always never remember right. With Cisco Connect, all you need is to fire it up and you’re there. It’s quite easy and breezy.

Click on Router Settings, and it opens up into this window, where you can set up your router’s name, password and even do a speed test. There’s also an option to go to the more advanced settings, if you’re the type to go crazy on DNS settings and all that. (I must confess I do)
  • Feature I Love: Guest Access. There’s nothing I hate more than WiFi leechers. Apart from slowing down your connection, it’s just plain rude, don’t you think? I always feel weird giving out our WiFi password to occasional visitors, and I know that for security’s sake, I should change the password now and then. With Guest Access, your visitors can surf and use your network without giving out your main access password and you can change it as often as you like. Useful for deterring the occasional bad egg who will go to great lengths to park in front of your house for free WiFi. Rocks in the sky, the one who gets hit should not get mad. #somethingsshouldneverbetranslated

  • The parental controls are great. My iMac has built-in parental controls also, but this takes it a step further by allowing you to individually set the limits on EACH DEVICE that connects to your WiFi network. It has time limits that can be set for different devices, as well as an area to specify any sites you want banned on each device. For example, you can limit the time on weekdays and be a little lenient on weekends. You may allow Facebook on your own desktop but not on your son’s iPad. It allows you to have some control over your children’s internet use without intruding on their personal digital space. (Knowing these kids, they’ll figure out a workaround on the computer settings anyway!)

So if you’re a parent and concerned about internet security and your children’s online usage, the Linksys E1000 is a good choice. Now, Cisco Linksys is asking for a few moments of your time to answer the survey below. If we get enough responses on this blog, anyone who takes the survey goes into a pot for a chance to win their very own Linksys E1000 router! It is a contest of sorts for the bloggers who are featuring the router on their own blogs, so I’m crossing my fingers that this blog gets the most answers and the winner will be one of you guys! If my blog gets the most number of responses, I get a special prize too. Someone in my household will be very Apple-happy this Christmas if I do win, hehe!
Giveaway notes:
  • Open to all survey respondents in NCR.
  • Cisco Linksys will be responsible for shipping the product to your shipping address.
  • The winner of the contest will be announced on Mommy Mundo’s website.
Thanks in advance to everyone who answers the survey! (If you can’t see the form below, click here)

The Painter’s Wife and Caleb’s Closet Honors International Babywearing Week!

I love mompreneurs. We always ask each other’s opinions on the stuff we buy for our kids and having a fellow mom at the helm of a store is always more assuring than a bored salesclerk at the mall. Most of the stuff that mompreneurs sell have been handpicked and are usually products they use on their own babies.

Caleb’s Closet Ecostore is run by mom and physician Dr. Lei Alfonso. She used to be a barrio physician, but postponed her training to be a full-time, super hands-on mother. Named after her baby, Caleb, she describes her Multiply store as an “an online source for modern solutions to natural parenting.” Her initial product line features cloth diapers, toys, breastfeeding and babywearing gear, as well as natural skincare products. It’s a business and an advocacy at the same time, as Doc Lei proudly raises the banner for fair trade, attachment parenting, breastfeeding and babywearing. She wants to offer products that will cater to every budget and is constantly looking for new things to add to her shop.

 

The latest addition to Caleb’s Closet is a product I featured a while ago – The Bailey Wrap!

And now to commemorate International Babywearing Week, Dr. Lei has generously sponsored one Bailey Wrap to be given away to one lucky reader!

Giveaway notes:

  • One (1) Bailey Wrap will be raffled off to one (1) reader (color depends on available stock)
  • The giveaway is open NATIONWIDE in the Philippines.
  • Duration of the giveaway is from October 13, 2011 to October 26, 2011. Entries may be submitted until 11:59pm of October 26, 2011.
  • The winner will be picked by electronic raffle on October 27, 2011.

To join:

  • Fill out the form below. (If you can’t see the form, access it here)
  • Fill in the blanks in this sentence and post it on the Caleb’s Closet Facebook Page Wall: “I love to wear my baby at the __________ because ______________.”


Happy International Babywearing Week! Good luck to everyone!

What? No Brakes? : Johnson’s My Kid’s Growing Up So Fast Contest

EDIT (11/09/11): This post won one of the four spots in the contest! Thank you Johnson’s and Nuffnang!

The winner of the caption contest is: rdnofera! Thanks for the title – “Move Over Van Gogh, ‘Coz I’m Gonna Van GROW”. You will receive a Johnson’s Gift Pack!

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I’ve made no secret of my dreams and aspirations for Basti’s future. I’ve got my fingers crossed that he will take after his father, and become a world-class visual artist who will do his country proud. Just in case my penchant for performing is in him somewhere, I’ve also got dance and theater classes in the wings, if he wants them.

I have it all planned. He starts experiential art lessons this month in Gymboree; just textures, colors, shapes and forms, nothing formal, just art appreciation disguised as play. I already know the easels I want to buy him when he turns 3, 7, 12, 16 and 25 years old. I know which school to send him to if homeschool doesn’t work out, and his whole life will be filled with exhibits, painting sessions with his father, sketching and photography trips. I seem prepared, don’t I?

And then, just a week or so ago, my little baby boy grabbed a brush from his father’s stash and did this:

My kid's growing up so fast, and can't wait to be like his dad.

My heart broke into a thousand little pieces. My little boy is growing up way too fast. Right then and there, I decided to slow down my ambitious plans and relish the days I have with my kiddo.

Even if Basti can jump from platforms and run down the street, he still likes to take a nap in my arms and nurse at my breast. He can work the iPad like a big kid but still squeals in delight when I sing The Wheels On The Bus in funny voices. He stomps his feet and pouts when he doesn’t get his way, but after the tantrum, my little Basti crawls into my lap and gives me a hug.

One of our favorite things to do is bath time. He loves water, just like me. Since birth, we’ve been using the Johnson’s Baby bath line on him.

He is changing before my eyes but his skin is still like a baby’s. We still need the gentle care of JOHNSON’s Baby Milk, with Vitamins A&E and 100% more milk proteins to nourish developing skin. I particularly can’t get enough of the feel and smell of Johnson’s Baby Milk bath on his skin and hair. It turns my little man into a baby all over again.

I was packing up the last of his onesies, the last articles of clothing that symbolized Basti’s baby-ness. It was not without drama; for each onesie I put in the bin, there was a little prick in my tummy, a tug at my heart, and the ubiquitous single-tear-on-the-cheek that has sold lots of airtime on teleseryes. At the same time, I was sorting our freshly-laundered clothes, which included the bigger-boy clothes that would make up Basti’s new wardrobe. I sighed at how huge they were compared to his baby wear, but I also smiled at how tiny they looked next to his dad’s clothing. He has a long way to go still; he’ll be my little baby for a few more years.

So until we cut the ribbon on his first one-man show or support him on whatever path he chooses to take , we’ll be here, cheering him on his journey. He won’t be a baby forever, but one thing I want to teach him is to never stop growing up.

So, guys – what do you think would make a good title for Basti’s painting picture? The best title deserves a Johnson’s gift pack!

  • First, leave a comment with a creative and relevant title for Basti’s pic, along with your Facebook name.
  • Validate your entry by liking the Johnson’s Baby World of Firsts page on Facebook.
  • The reader with the best title wins!
  • Submission of comments with titles is from October 7 to October 21, 2011.
I can’t wait to hear your title suggestions!